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Ten ways to improve your relationship

Ten ways to divorce proof your relationship

In an era where the divorce rates keep rising, couples need to work harder than ever to keep their relationships alive and vibrant.  Using simple techniques in a consistent basis can greatly improve the connection between two spouses and decrease relationship problems.

  1. Meet and do things together. Schedule time for “date night” just like in the old times. This time together is special and requires little interruption from others.  The focus needs to be on the two of you not on the children, work, money, etc.
  2. Learn to accept that there are both similarities and differences in each other. Most couples have complimentary traits. Where one partner may be the financial guru and organizer the other may be a great cook and socializing.  Embrace how each of you is able to complement each other and your relationship.
  3. Approach conflicts head on. When you experience disagreements feelings of irritation, anger and frustration can arise. Resolving conflicts quickly and with understating for each other is crucial to avoid resentments from building up and becoming a relationship problem.
  4. Make your relationship one of your top priorities. By placing your partner ahead of your parents, friends and work, it will give your partner a sense of importance.
  5. Strive to understand each other’s point of view. This means taking the necessary time to clarify and discover each other’s messages both spoken and unspoken.
  6. Be sensitive to your partner’s emotions. When you clearly understand what your partner is feeling, you can genuinely show empathy for his/her point of view.
  7. Be creative and work on delighting one another with touch holdings; cuddling, kissing and making time to be intimate will communicate your love for one another in both body and mind.
  8. Consciously balance togetherness and uniqueness. When each person is able to care about your own interests while still paying attention to the other’s desires, then a sense of fairness is developed which results in a stronger bond that helps to avoid relationship problems.
  9. Focus on the bright side, in a happy relationship, there must be a climate of positivity. This means that for each negative statement/action, five positive statements/actions need to take place in order to keep the love and intimacy intact. In his research, John Gottman, identified that the “magic ratio” for couples to stay in a positive interaction with each other is 5:1. He states that unhappy couples tend to stay in negative interactions which according to his research is a strong predictor for divorce.
  10. Make a commitment to persist and not give up when times get hard.

By practicing these steps, you are sure to increase your overall satisfaction from your relationship.  However, if you find that you are having a difficult time improving your relationship; it may be helpful to seek the assistance of a couples therapist.  A marriage therapist is trained to unlock underlying issues that may be preventing you and/or your partner from connecting.

Research shows that the average couple waits six years before seeking help for their problems.  Time is of the essence when it comes to matters of the heart, statistics show that half of all marriages that end do so in the first seven years!  Couples that attend relationship counseling increase their chances of avoiding being another statistic.

Please visit my couples counseling page for more information on how I can help.